Last month, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced legislation to crack down on government-paid foreign travel taken by lawmakers, calling it a “lax system that has led to abuses in the past.” In 2009, she criticized the House Appropriations Committee for adding money to buy jets for government use. Now, her travel history is coming under scrutiny.
According to a report by Politico, McCaskill has spent nearly $76,000 in public funds since 2007 to fly on a private plane owned by her and her husband.
As a senator, McCaskill has flown at least 89 flights chartered by Sunset Cove Associates LLC — a company incorporated in 2002 by her husband, St. Louis businessman Joe Shepard, according to records kept by the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office. All of those flights were paid for from McCaskill’s Senate office budget, raising questions about whether the first-term senator and her husband are using public dollars to partially subsidize their aircraft.
An aide to McCaskill told Politico that the senator will send the Treasury Department a check to cover the costs of the flights. The aide said the flights were legal and in compliance with all Senate ethics rules.